Explore Science

Since 2006, the Klaus Tschira Foundation has been organising the annual scientific adventure days Explore Science in Mannheim.

The aim of the event is to give students the opportunity to discover scientific phenomena themselves, to increase interest in scientific topics among young students and to promote networking between scientific institutions and schools. This year’s theme was “Mathematics”.

Students from grades 6-9 took part in the Explore Science competitions, which involved preparations over several weeks. Grade 8 showed off their bridges made from paper. Grade 9 students were asked to perform calculations to work out an area based on work they had done in class, and Grade 6 & 7 students presented their kaleidoscopes.

This year, H.I.S. was particularly successful in the competitions. Martin, Mykola, and Ako from Grade 9 won 9th place in the land surveying competition. They received €100. In the kaleidoscope competition, three groups got special mentions from the jury: Philipp, Canon, Neil and Lucas from grade 7 impressed everyone with a kaleidoscope that worked in the dark since they incorporated a smart phone inside.

 Aiden, Niels and Warren from grade 7 had built a kaleidoscope, which you could look through with both eyes. Hannah, Bernard and Joan created a kaleidoscope for “lazy viewers” with a motor and a switch. It was a tough competition, but the Grade 6 group ended up winning the first prize and had the opportunity to explain their motorised kaleidoscope in front of a big audience on stage at the Herzogenriedpark. It was the first time, H.I.S. won the first prize, which included a prize money of €500!

Overall, the days were fun and exciting and enjoyed by the students. Congratulations to all our young H.I.S. scientists!


Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

This past weekend, was the final assessed expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award.

The students have worked towards this throughout the school year, with two practice expeditions and several day hikes as well as a camping workshop and a first aid course. It has been an intense journey for most of them and many of them really challenged themselves during the expedition and their hard work has paid off. Despite the heat which made it even more of a challenge, the students were successful in showing what they had learnt in terms of being independent in their route planning and camp crafting skills.

Upon reflection at the end of the expedition many of the students commented on the skills that they had developed, such as camp crafting and map reading skills. The students also reflected on their own personal development. They talked about how they all motivated each other throughout, whether by singing, cooking, talking to each other and playing volleyball, or by learning more about each other and developing unexpected friendships.

Despite the challenges, it was a positive and fulfilling experience that the students will without doubt never forget.

We hope that the students will complete the other parts of the Award, including the physical recreation service and skills sections and that they will continue to record them in the online record books. We will then be able to hand out the Silver Award at some point next school year.

We also look forward to starting the Award with some of the Grade 9 students who would like to embark on this  challenge and have already had an introduction to the Award in their class.


Celebrating Students’ Achievements

Just before the Easter break, a secondary celebration assembly was held to celebrate some of the successes of our secondary school students over the past year.

We acknowledged the students in Grades 8, 9 and 10 who took part in the „Schüler machen Zeitung“ project and had their own articles published in the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung – a great success for our young journalists!

There was an acknowledgment of the Grade 9 and 10 students who took part in a local basketball competition as well as the students who had participated in recent Mathematics competitions that were held in Vienna and in Munich

An award and a monetary prize were awarded to three students in Grade 9 for their participation in last year’s Explore Science competition.  Again this year we have many of our classes participating with the chance to win prizes.

Certificates of participation were also handed out to several Grade 10 & 11 students who took part in MUN earlier this year and we have just had another delegation recently attend a conference in Stuttgart and return with three students nominated as best delegates and two as best dressed delegates – another great success!

Finally, the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award was awarded to our first cohort of students, eight Grade 11 students in recognition of their achievements. Over a year, each student had to complete a skill, a physical reaction activity and service as well as an expedition over two days after numerous trainings throughout the year. Each student received a certificate and small silver pin. This year we have 18 Grade 10 students involved who will soon be starting their outdoor expedition training.

Although the assembly celebrated the successes of many of the older students in the MYP, there was a lot of discussion afterwards amongst the younger students. They not only gained an impression of the many opportunities that H.I.S. has to offer but also what they can look forward to participating in in the years to come.


Jam Festival

Grade 1 students were busy last week as they hosted a Jam Festival at the end of the day on Friday.

We have been learning about Producers and Consumers, and after a trip to the Schlicksupp Gemüsebau Farm, to see where so many fruits and vegetables are produced, we decided to be consumers, buy tubs of locally grown strawberries and create our own home-made jam, which we then sold, along with jam filled cupcakes and cookies.

We also made clay pendants to sell too! It was so much fun getting to be producers AND consumers. There are so many decisions that need to be made when being a thoughtful consumer.

We managed to raise 310 Euro which we are donating to help the Ukrainian Refugees in Heidelberg.

Awesome job Grade 1!


Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Practice Expedition #1

This month 11 Grade 10 students undertook their first practice expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

They started out at Mosbach Station where they were given their tents and Trangias to pack into their rucksacks along with their sleeping bags, mats and food.  Then they went off following their planned routes.

The weather was exceptional and the students challenged themselves walking to the lunch spot to pick up some water and have a have a short break.  They continued onto the campsite  where they collected firewood to make a campfire, set up their tents and cooked themselves their dinner with the Trangias (for which we give thanks to the PTG for purchasing).

After a nights rest, the next morning they woke up early to cook themselves a good hearty breakfast, packed up their gear and set off on completing the reminder of their planned walk back to Mosbach and catch the train home.

The students reflected on the positive experiences that they had and how they are looking forward to the next practice expedition which will be over two nights in early June with the final expedition at the end of June just before the end of the school year.